This morning I woke ahead of the alarm – it is, after all, a Monday. A new work week begins, and even between periods of employment, I am “working”. I spent the weekend painting, and aside from a visit with a friend this afternoon, and a possible dinner date with my traveling partner, I’ll be painting today, too. ๐Ÿ™‚

I start the morning with meditation, then on to yoga, then coffee, music, and as I sit down to write, I am delighted to find my traveling partner also up for the day, and online. We exchange a few words. It’s a good morning, so far. The apartment fills with the fresh clean spring air, filtered through a couple of rainy days. I close the patio door, and the open windows, and turn the music up. I’m enjoying theย music, and I keep the playlist going while I write; it’s a good day for music.

It seems an eternity ago that my experience of my life, day-to-day, was characterized by a quiet durable misery that I invested in considerable effort to keep to myself, feeling both frustration and shame any time it erupted into uncontrolled expression of intense emotion. When I began practicing practices associated with improving my emotional balance, resilience, and self-sufficiency, I lacked conviction that any long-term change was really likely… I mean… I’d already been enduring, long-term, a state of chaos and despair over time that utterly defied the generally pleasant reality of my current experience at that time, as well as many attempts to change it. I practiced anyway. I began again. And again. I kept at it. One practice I continue to practice is a sly one, focused on improving implicit memory and decreasing negative bias – because that negative bias thing is an ass kicker of destruction, insidious, cruel, and hard to avoid. It has been the simplest of practices, and one of the most pleasant; I spend time lingering over the recollection of pleasant events and experiences, I savor them both while I have the experience – which takes practice, itself – and also making a point to enjoy the recollection, to share those experiences, to invest more time in enjoying them, and considering them, than I do ruminating over what didn’t go so well, or doesn’t feel so good. It’s really that simple. Seems inconsequential, doesn’t it? And… at first… it didn’t seem to have a profound effect that I could point to and say “Aha!!”. Not at first.

Incremental change over time is a thing. There are verbs involved. Practices are practices because they require practicing, and in some cases that is a lifelong thing, not so much a ‘task’ that is completed and done with. Results vary. Expectations and assumptions about outcomes can totally screw with the outcome of this simple practice, too. We are so human… I don’t exist as ‘a positive person’ as any sort of default character quality with which I was born… I have become someone with a generally positive experience, incrementally, over time – with practice.

Roses and a rainy day. One moment of many.

Roses and a rainy day. One moment of many.

This morning I am taking time to enjoy the day, to enjoy love, to enjoy life – to enjoy the experience I am having now. I am my own cartographer – this looks like a nice spot to pause for a moment. This moment. ๐Ÿ™‚